ARCHIVED - Canada's Health Infostructure

Federal/Provincial/Territorial Advisory Committee on Information and Emerging Technologies

Note: At their June 21-22, 2005 meeting, the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Conference of Deputy Ministers of Health agreed to make the Advisory Committee on Information and Emerging Technologies dormant and with it all of its priorities.

In December 2002, the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Deputy Ministers of Health created the Advisory Committee on Information and Emerging Technologies (ACIET). The Advisory Committee's mandate is to provide policy development and strategic advice on health information issues and on the effectiveness, appropriateness and utilization of emerging health products and technologies to the Conference of Federal, Provincial, and Territorial (F/P/T) Deputy Ministers of Health.

ACIET has a Provincial and Federal Co-chair and is comprised of representatives from the federal, provincial, and territorial governments as well as external members from Canada Health Infoway Inc., Canadian Coordinating Office on Health Technology Assessment, Canadian Institute for Health Information, and other external experts are added as the Committee deems necessary.

Five initiatives were identified by Deputies for ACIET:

  • Emerging Technologies Assessment
  • Genomics
  • Pharmaceuticals Strategic Advances
  • Strategic Directions for a pan-Canadian Health Infostructure (includes Information Technology)
  • Privacy

The Emerging Technologies Assessment initiative will address the assessment, uptake and diffusion of health technology and the priority recommendations of the F/P/T Working Group on the Supply, Demand and Delivery of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) Services in Canada.

  • Health Technology Strategy 1.0: Final Report, prepared by the Health Technology Assessment Group on behalf of the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Advisory Committee on Information and Emerging Technologies, June 2004. (Approved at the Annual Conference of the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers of Health, Vancouver, October 17, 2004)

Health Ministers approved a new Canadian Health Technology Strategy. This development arises from the 2003 Accord on Health Care Renewal's commitment to develop a comprehensive strategy to assess the impact of health technologies and provide advice on how to maximize their effective utilization. The Strategy represents a collaborative approach towards ensuring that Canadians have ongoing access to appropriate health care technology.

For enquiries about the Strategy, please contact: Linda St-Amour, Health and the Information Highway Division, Health Canada;

The Genomics initiative will address gene patenting, genetic health human resources, co-ordinated testing and quality assurance/improvement, genetic health technology assessment, and genetic information (privacy and discrimination).

The Pharmaceuticals Strategic Advances initiative will review ways to ensure that no Canadian should suffer undue financial hardship for needed drug therapy and to ensure that Canadians, wherever they live, have reasonable access to catastrophic drug coverage. In addition, continued collaboration will build on past successes in pharmaceuticals management to promote optimal drug use, best practices in drug prescription and better manage the costs of all drugs including generic drugs, to ensure that drugs are safe, effective and accessible in a timely and cost-effective fashion.

Through the Strategic Directions for a pan-Canadian Health Infostructure initiative (which includes Information Technology), ACIET will provide advice to the Conference of Deputy Ministers of Health on strategic directions for planning, developing and implementing a pan-Canadian health infostructure, by addressing the following priority areas: standards compatibility, electronic health records, telehealth, reporting, and knowledge transfer.

The Privacy initiative will examine how to adequately protect the privacy of personal health information that will be collected, used/disclosed in an electronic health record system as it evolves to cover care and treatment (primary uses), as well as, other health system needs such as health system performance and health records (secondary uses).

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